Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter and television personality.
Aguilera's self-titled debut album was released on August 24, 1999. It was met with a favorable critical response, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic opining that the album "remains firmly within the teen-oriented dance-pop genre, but done right" and was "lightweight in the best possible sense – breezy, fun, engaging, and enjoyable on each repeated listen." It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and Canadian Albums Chart; it went on to ship eight million copies in the United States and over seventeen million copies worldwide. The album is included in the Top 100 Albums of All Time list of The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) based on US sales. Aguilera's debut single "Genie in a Bottle" was an international success, reaching number one of the US Billboard Hot 100 and several countries worldwide. It became the top-selling debut single of 1999, selling over 1.4 million units in the United States. Follow-up singles "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" also topped the Hot 100 during 1999 and 2000, while "I Turn to You" reached number three. Consequentially, Aguilera became one of few artists to have multiple number one successes from a debut album in Billboard history. Additionally, "What a Girl Wants" was the first number one hit of the millennium. Aguilera made a cameo appearance on Beverly Hills, 90210, appeared at 1999's Lilith Fair, and performed during the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show alongside Enrique Iglesias. In an effort to display the range of her voice, Aguilera performed piano-accompanied sets on television shows and private concerts. At the 2000 Grammy Awards, Aguilera won theGrammy Award for Best New Artist, commenting that she was "was not expecting it at all" and that it felt "amazing".
On September 12, 2000, Aguilera released her second album and first Spanish-language album, Mi Reflejo, containing five Spanish versions of songs from her previous album and new Spanish material. According to producer Rudy Pérez, with whom Aguilera recorded the album in Miami, Aguilera was only semi-fluent while recording, but understood the language, having grown up with her Ecuadorian father. The album peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard 200 and topped the Billboard Latin charts for a record nineteen weeks, making her the highest female debut of all time. Additionally, it made Aguilera the only artist in history to have back-to-back number one debuts with an English language album followed by a Spanish language album. The album has since sold over 3 million copies worldwide, and was certified 6× Platinum (Latin field) in the US selling over 480,000 copies. Aguilera won theWorld Music Award and Billboard award as the best selling Latin artist that year. In 2001, it won Aguilera a Latin Grammy Award forBest Female Pop Vocal Album. She also released a Christmas album, My Kind of Christmas, on October 24, 2000, and performed its only single, "The Christmas Song", at the White House that year. The song made Aguilera one of three artists to take the song into the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified platinum in the US and sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Her first concert tour, Christina Aguilera in Concert, began in the summer of 2000 in the United States and ended early 2001, where she toured South America and Asia. An ABC concert special, My Reflection, was released to DVD and certified Gold in the US. Aguilera was Billboard's top selling female artist of 2000.
Aguilera was rumored to have dated MTV VJ Carson Daly. Rumors of their relationship were fueled after the release of Eminem's song, "The Real Slim Shady", in which he also insinuated a romance between her and rocker Fred Durst. Aguilera responded saying the lyrics were "disgusting, offensive and, above all, not true." Their feud ended two years later backstage at the Video Music Awards after Aguilera presented the rapper an award onstage. Aguilera dated Puerto Rican dancer Jorge Santos, who appeared on her tour and music videos throughout 2000. They dated for nearly two years until the relationship ended on September 11, 2001. He remained her dancer into 2002.
Ricky Martin asked Aguilera to duet with him on "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely" from his album Sound Loaded, released in 2001 as the album's second single. The song reached number thirteen in the United States. In 2001, Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink remadeLabelle's 1975 single "Lady Marmalade" for the film Moulin Rouge! and its accompanying soundtrack. The song ultimately peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and became the first airplay-only track in history to stay number one for more than one week. It was the year's top selling single worldwide, reaching number one in eleven other countries with over 5.2 million copies sold making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. "Lady Marmalade" earned all four performers a Grammy Award forBest Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The video won two MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year in 2001. Later in 2001, "Just Be Free", a song from one of Aguilera's demos recorded when she was fifteen years old, appeared in record stores. When RCA Records discovered the single, they advised fans not to purchase it. Months later, Warlock Records was set to release Just Be Free, an album containing demo material. Aguilera filed a breach of contract and unfair competition suit against Warlock and the album's producers to block the release. The two parties came to a confidential settlement to release the album, where Aguilera lent out her name, likeness, and image for an unspecified amount of damages.
Despite her international success, Aguilera was dissatisfied with the music and image her management had created for her, having been marketed as a bubblegum pop singer because of the genre's upward financial trend. She mentioned plans for her next album to have more musical and lyrical depth. Aguilera's views of Steve Kurtz's influence in matters of the singer's creative direction, the role of being her exclusive personal manager, and over-scheduling had in part caused her to seek legal means of terminating their management contract. In October 2000, Aguilera filed a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against her manager Kurtz for improper, undue and inappropriate influence over her professional activities, as well as fraud. According to legal documents, Kurtz did not protect her rights and interests. Instead, he took action that was for his own interest, at the cost of hers. She petitioned the California State Labor Commission to nullify the contract. Aguilera revealed while recording her then upcoming album, "I was being overworked. You find out that someone you thought was a friend is stealing money behind your back, and it's heartbreaking. I put faith in the people around me, and unfortunately, it bit me in the butt." After terminating Kurtz's services, Irving Azoff was hired as her new manager.
Aguilera's fourth studio album, Stripped, was released on October 26, 2002. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 330,000 copies. Unlike her previous work, the album showcased Aguilera's raunchier side. She co-wrote much of the album, as Aguilera had recently signed a global music publishing contract with BMG Music Publishing, and was influenced by many different subjects and music styles, including R&B, soul, pop rock and hip hop, a contrast to her teen pop and dance-pop influenced debut. The majority of the album was produced by Scott Storch and singer-songwriter Linda Perry, who produced her more personal records. Rockwilder and singer Alicia Keys also contributed a track each. The album was generally well received by critics, although Aguilera's vocals were overlooked as she began to cultivate a more sexually provocative image, having taken part in nude and semi-nude photoshoots, notably her cover for Rolling Stone, featuring Aguilera wearing only boots and an electric guitar. She denied that the change was a matter of publicity, claiming that it better reflected her true personality than her previous image. She dyed her hair black, began referring to herself as "Xtina", got a tattoo of the nickname on the back of her neck, as well as several piercings.
Initially, the raunchy image had a negative effect on Aguilera in the United States, especially after the release of her controversial "Dirrty" music video. She defended the video, stating it was about power and control, adding, "I'm also at the forefront. I'm in the power position, in complete command of everything around me." While the video became popular on MTV, it disappointed on the US singles chart. However, the single was a hit worldwide, reaching number one in the UK and Ireland. The second single, classically-influenced ballad "Beautiful", received critical praise, reaching number one in several countries and peaking at number two in the US. The song earned Aguilera the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Three more singles: "Fighter", "Can't Hold Us Down" featuring Lil' Kim, and "The Voice Within", were released in the following two years, helping the album stay on the charts for the next two years. Stripped stayed on the US and UK album charts into 2004, and went on to be certified four-times platinum in the US with over ten million copies sold worldwide. It appeared at number ten on Billboard's year-end album chart and Aguilera was the top female artist for 2003. Kelly Clarkson's debut single, "Miss Independent", was co-written by Aguilera, having been half-finished for Stripped.
Aguilera's first DVD live-recording, Stripped Live in the U.K., was released in November 2004. In light of the tour's success, another U.S. tour was scheduled to begin in mid-2004 with a new theme, though it was scrapped due to vocal cord injuries Aguilera suffered shortly before the opening date. In a tribute to Madonna's performance at the inaugural 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, Aguilera and singer Britney Spearskissed the singer-actress during the ceremony in August, during the opening performance of Madonna's songs "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood". Also in 2004, she hosted a Saturday Night Live episode, which included a Sex and the City skit where she portrayedSamantha Jones revealing to everyone she was a man the entire time.
Aguilera later decided to embrace a more mature, Marilyn Monroe-like image, dying her hair flaxen blonde and cutting it short. She is one of the main proponents (along with Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani, and Ashley Judd) in bringing back the 1920s–1940s Hollywood glamour look. Aguilera later dyed her hair cherry blonde and recorded a jingle, "Hello", for a Mercedes-Benz ad. In late 2004, Aguilera released "Car Wash", a remake of the Rose Royce disco song as a collaboration with rapper Missy Elliott for the soundtrack to the film Shark Tale. She voiced a small singing part in the film, playing a Rastafarian jellyfish in the film's closing musical number. She was featured in Nelly's "Tilt Ya Head Back", from his album Sweat. Both singles failed commercially in the US, but did considerably better in other parts of the world. Aguilera collaborated with jazz artist Herbie Hancock on a cover of Leon Russell's "A Song for You", recorded for Hancock's album Possibilities, released in August 2005. They were later nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She helped open the 50th Anniversary for Disneyland performing "When You Wish upon a Star", and also collaborated with Andrea Bocelli on the song "Somos Novios" for his album Amore.
Aguilera's fifth studio album, Back to Basics, was released on August 15, 2006. It debuted at number one in the US, the UK, and eleven other countries. It has since sold 4.5 million units worldwide,with over 1.7 million sold in the US. She described the double CD as "a throwback to the 20s, 30s, and 40s-style jazz, blues, and feel-good soul music, but with a modern twist." It received positive reviews, although many critics commented on the album's length saying, "At one disc, this would have been nothing short of masterful." A review in Allmusic adds, "Back to Basics also makes clear that Stripped was a necessary artistic move for Christina: she needed to get that out of her system in order to create her own style, one that is self-consciously stylized, stylish, and sexy." The critically acclaimed lead single, "Ain't No Other Man", was a substantial success, reaching number two on the World Chart, number six in the US, and number two in the UK. Producers on the album included DJ Premier, Kwamé, Linda Perry, and Mark Ronson. The follow-up singles did well in various regions, "Hurt" in Europe and "Candyman" in the Pacific. She co-directedboth music videos, the former with Floria Sigismondi who directed her "Fighter" video, and the latter, "Candyman", with director/photographer Matthew Rolston. "Slow Down Baby" was released as the fourth single in Australia only, while "Oh Mother" was released as the fourth single in selected European countries.
In late 2006, Aguilera collaborated with Diddy on "Tell Me", from his album Press Play. She also began the Back to Basics Tour in Europe, followed by a 41-date North American tour in early 2007. After this, she toured Asia and Australia, where it was supposed to end on August 3, however she canceled her dates in Melbourne and her final two in Aucklanddue to an illness. Her extravagant arena tour included cabaret, three-ring circus and juke joint sets and 10 piece costumes designed by Roberto Cavalli. She released her concert DVD Back to Basics: Live and Down Under the following year. The tour grossed nearly 50 million by the end of the year in North America and an additional 40 million worldwide in her Europe and Australia dates, grossing almost 90 million by the end of the tour. It was the most successful US tour by a female in 2007.
At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Aguilera again won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Ain't No Other Man". She made a noteworthy performance at the ceremony paying tribute to James Brown with her rendition of his song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". In January 2007, she was named the 19th richest woman in entertainment by Forbes, with a net worth of US$60 million. Aguilera performed "Steppin' Out with My Baby" with Tony Bennett on his NBC special Tony Bennett: An American Classic and on Saturday Night Live. They performed at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards where both specials received Emmys. "Steppin' Out" was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
In 2008, Aguilera appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary Shine a Light which chronicles a two-day Rolling Stones concert in New York City's Beacon Theatre. The film features Aguilera performing "Live with Me" alongside Mick Jagger. Shine a Light premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and was released worldwide on April 4, 2008. She also had a brief cameo in the comedy film Get Him to the Greek, and appeared as a guest judge on the sixth season of Project Runway on Lifetime. She and designer Bob Mackie were the inspiration for the challenge in which they had to design a stage outfit for Aguilera. To commemorate Aguilera's ten years in the music industry, RCA Records released Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits on November 11, 2008, exclusively atTarget stores in the US. The greatest hits included her first three number one singles, and other songs released from her previous three albums. "Lady Marmalade" and several Spanish singles from Mi Reflejo were included in the worldwide releases. The album's only single, "Keeps Gettin' Better", was premiered at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, which debuted and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, her highest debut on the chart. Following the greatest hits, Aguilera took over a year hiatus in 2009 to work on her then-upcoming album and film. She was one of Billboard's Top 20 Artists of the Decade in their year-end charts.
Aguilera's sixth studio album, Bionic, was released on June 8, 2010. The album's producers included Tricky Stewart, Samuel Dixon,Polow da Don, Le Tigre, Switch, Ester Dean, songwriters Sam Endicott, Sia Furler, Claude Kelly, Linda Perry and collaborations withM.I.A., Santigold, Nicki Minaj, and Peaches. Bionic's material consisted of many mainstream and pop records along with electronic anddance music. The album's singles, "Not Myself Tonight" and "You Lost Me" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts but were unsuccessful elsewhere. Bionic marked her foray into the electropop genre, and received mixed reviews from critics. Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the singer's new music direction "makes her sound as peer-pressured as a pop singer can be." Allison Stewart of The Washington Post described the album as being "noisy, robotic and overstuffed" adding that the disc's "greatest disappointments" is its "virtual abandonment" of Aguilera's voice. She concluded that Aguilera attempts "to do it all," which was to try to "revel in her newfound domesticity, to wrest her crown from Gaga and to reestablish her sex kitten bona fides." Sales of Bionic were underwhelming in the US compared to her previous releases, selling 110,000 copies in its first week and landing at No.3. It has since sold 310,000 copies in the US. Shortly after the album's release, further promotion ended and a scheduled summer tour for the album was canceled due to "inadequate rehearsal time". Responding to the album's performance, Aguilera says, "I was really proud of that record. I think there was a lot of promotion issues, coming from a standpoint of how everything resulted. Nothing is ever a setback. If anything, it just motivates you for what’s next."
During Super Bowl XLV, Aguilera performed the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", and created embarrassment when she omitted a line of the anthem and messed up the song's lyrics. She later apologized saying, "I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place. I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through." The following week, Aguilera, alongside Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch opened the 2011 Grammy Awards paying tribute to Aretha Franklin
Aguilera's seventh studio album, Lotus, was released on November 13, 2012. Producers on the album included Alex da Kid, Max Martin, Lucas Secon, Steve Robson and Shellback, among others and incorporated elements of electropop that Aguilera experimented with on Bionic. The album received mixed reviews from critics. MTV News commented that Lotus "was supposed to signify her return to prominence, a high-powered collection of songs penned by the biggest hitmakers in the business", adding, "it wasn't a triumphant comeback album". The New York Times called the album's direction its "biggest crime, more than its musical unadventurousness or its emphasis on bland self-help lyrics or its reluctance to lean on Ms. Aguilera’s voice, the thing that makes her special." The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 selling just under on 73,000 copies making it her lowest first-week sales in the US and was less successful worldwide. Lotus has since sold 182,000 copies in the US and less worldwide making it her lowest selling album to date. The lead single, "Your Body", debuted and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a moderate hit worldwide. "Just a Fool", a country pop duet with Blake Shelton, was released as the second single and was less successful due to lack of promotion.
In November 2010, Aguilera appeared in her first feature film, the musical Burlesque and received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aguilera portrayed a small town girl, Ali Rose, who finds love and success in a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club. The film was written and directed by Steve Antin who wrote the part of Ali specifically with Aguilera in mind. Aguilera performed eight of the musical numbers on the film's soundtrack released on November 22, 2010, and co-wrote a number of the tracks working with producers and writers including Tricky Stewart, Sia Furler, Samuel Dixon, Linda Perry, Claude Kelly, Danja, and Ron Fair. The remaining two tracks were sung by Cher, who co-starred alongside Aguilera. The soundtrack debuted in the top 20 and was certified Gold selling over 600,000 copies in the US. Aguilera's co-stars also included Cam Gigandet, Eric Dane,Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci. Several critics praised Aguilera's performance. A review in Time states, "Aguilera might not be to your taste, or mine, but in terms of sheer power, she's impressive. If Ali were real, she'd have already been discovered on American Idol." While Variety wrote, "Aguilera, while undeniably entertaining when her character is onstage, cannot spin the slight backstory into anything resembling a full-blooded person." Though Burlesque was released to mixed reviews from critics, the film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and earned Aguilera, writer/producer Sia Furler and Samuel Dixon, a nomination for Best Original Song for the track "Bound to You". The soundtrack also earned Aguilera a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack. Burlesquegrossed $90 million worldwide.
Aguilera signed to be a judge on The Voice, which debuted on NBC in April 2011. Aguilera, alongside other musicians Adam Levine,Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green serve as judges and coaches, with Carson Daly as the show's host. The show's first episode was well-received, and delivered the strongest ratings for a series premiere on a major network since Undercover Boss debuted after theSuper Bowl in February 2010. The show's first season was a ratings success for NBC following its debut. Aguilera performed "Moves like Jagger" on The Voice – the single with Maroon 5 on which she is featured, from their album Hands All Over. The song was an instant hit reaching number two in the UK, and earned Aguilera her fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, a decade after her last number one single, "Lady Marmalade". It also made Aguilera the second female artist to achieve number one hits in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The song sold over 8 million copies worldwide, establishing itself among the best-selling singles of all time. "Moves like Jagger" marks the first time two former Best New Artist Grammy Award winners have collaborated on a Hot 100 hit. It was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
At the 2012 ALMA Awards, Aguilera was honored with a Special Achievement Award for her career and charity work. She also recorded her first Spanish-language track in over a decade titled "Casa de Mi Padre", which was released as the title song for the soundtrack and film of the same name. Aguilera collaborated with Cee Lo Green on the classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from his album Cee Lo's Magic Moment, and with rapper Pitbull on the track "Feel This Moment" from his album Global Warming. "Feel This Moment" reached the top ten in several countries and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Aguilera's tenth top ten in the US. Aguilera collaborated with Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández on a cover of the song "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti", released as main theme song for the soap opera La tempestad. Upon the conclusion of the third season of The Voice, Aguilera and Green looked to promote their albums, and were replaced by Shakira and Usher during the fourth season. Aguilera and Green were both confirmed to return for the fifth season.
Aguilera began dating music marketing executive Jordan Bratman in 2002. Their engagement was announced in February 2005, and they married on November 19, 2005, in a Napa Valley estate. Aguilera confirmed she was pregnant on November 4, 2007, though Paris Hilton accidentally revealed her pregnancy several weeks prior during a party Aguilera hosted. She gave birth to her son, Max Liron Bratman, in Los Angeles on January 12, 2008, and held a bris for him with Bratman, who is of Jewish descent, where the baby was circumcised in accordance with Jewish practice. Aguilera was reportedly paid $1.5 million by People for her son's baby pictures—the ninth most expensive celebrity baby photos ever taken.
Aguilera collaborated with rapper T.I. on the track "Castle Walls" from his album No Mercy and appeared as herself on an episode ofEntourage. Having separated on September 14, Aguilera filed for divorce from Bratman on October 14, 2010, requesting joint legal and physical custody of their son. They later reached a private settlement agreement and custody deal, and the divorce was finalized on April 15, 2011. Aguilera began dating musician and production assistant Matt Rutler, whom she met during the filming of Burlesque. Her appearance and personal life were the subject of scrutiny; with reports over out of control behavior, excessive drinking, and a reported confrontation with her co-star Julianne Hough. On March 1, 2011, Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication in West Hollywood as her boyfriend was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She was later released on bail and no charges were filed. Rutler's DWI charge was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, after his BAC was determined as below the legal limit.